(Land of Lions)
Ska, Punk, Hardcore
Operation Ivy, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys
We have been noticing a resurrection in the ska/punk genre in the UK recently and The Filaments, a six-piece from Essex are one of the bands paving the way for this resurgence. The Filaments released a couple albums and split EPs between 2002 and 2007 before going on hiatus. They returned in 2013 in all their glory with their third album, Land of Lions. This album bleeds of ska, punk, hardcore and some reggae, making for one hell of an album. Not only is it raw and in-your-face, but it’s also has a sense likability which will draw people in who have not crossed over to this genre yet. The production is solid; every instrument has its place and is balanced very well. Among the standard guitars, bass and drums; they throw a bit of synths, piano and horns at us to round things off. The lead vocals are upfront and emanate punk emotions, reminiscent to Dropkick Murphy’s or Mighty Mighty Bosstones. As for the background vocals, they are plentiful and have the energy ska is known for behind them, which is half the charm of the album.
There is only one way to open an album like this, and it’s with "The Warren," this track is energetic and fast, picture Sick Of It All and Bosstones mixing things up in the studio. "No Surrender" and "Addeco Calling" keep this pace up, the piano addition on these songs adds a unique touch we don’t hear much of in the ska genre. Also, if you’re looking to add a little punch to your nights out, the upbeat
"Tales from the Barside" will provide this; it’s a very animated song. On the track "Tomlinsons Ghost," they throw some reggae influences into the punk/ska vibe and it’s a great combination, bringing some welcome diversity.
The quick "Tables Turn," “Liberty’s Plight” and “Pisstake” are short songs that revive the good ol' days of old-school hardcore. Moving on to the anthem-like "Tears of Essex" and its multitude of vocals, this song will hit a nerve and have you ready to take on whatever the day brings your way. As the album progresses we hear more of this style of music with "Once in a While," "Insult to Injury" and "Land of Lions". These tracks just blend in naturally within the album, giving us thirteen songs of unfiltered punk/ska anthems.
Land of Lions is a must-have if you’re looking for that next ska album that has an edge. The reforming of The Filaments is well-timed and they haven’t lost a step during their time apart, as they pushed the door open to explore more avenues in this genre. - 4/18/2014
Standout Tracks: Tears of Essex, Tales From the Barside